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Ostrich meat export suspension

14 April 2011

The export of ostrich meat from South Africa has been suspended by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) following the detection of the H5N2 Avian Influenza virus amongst a few ostriches in the Southern Cape. This strain of the virus is not dangerous to humans but the suspension is in compliance with international requirements. At this stage the duration of the suspension is unclear as additional tests need to be conducted.

The South African Ostrich Business Chamber (SAOBC) operates in a partnership approach with Government ( both DAFF and the Western Cape Provincial Department of Agriculture) since 2004 to monitor and manage animal diseases and this case will be handled in this same partnership approach, says Anton Kruger, CEO of the SAOBC in Oudtshoorn.

ďOstrich meat currently contributes about 62% of income for the ostrich industry and for every month of the duration of the ban, South Africa will lose R108 million per month in direct incomeĒ, Kruger said. According to the SAOBC the industry is currently already under pressure due to the prolonged drought in the primary ostrich production areas as well as the effects of the continued strong South African Rand.

Enquiries: Anton Kruger
Tel: 044 272 3336
Fax: 044 272 3337
E-mail: akruger@saobc.co.za

Source: South African Ostrich Business Chamber

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